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Greece to increase testing at land borders, implement stricter measures

Greek authorities will increase COVID-19 testing at Promachonas border-crossing with Bulgaria, as the majority of the new coronavirus infections in the last couple of days have been “imported” mainly through land borders. At the same time, it considers to temporarily halt entry to citizens of certain countries crossing via Promachonas if necessary.

There are now more imported cases of coronavirus cases in Greece on a daily basis.

Health authorities are on “red alert” due to the imported cases that hav ebeen located on severla islands in recent days.

The National Health Organization (EODY) testing since the last week and is planning to intensify them in order to have around 90% of the travellers arriving through Promachonas undergo a Covid-19 test.

Media report on Thursday that regardless of the country of origin, all tourists entering Greece from Promachonas will be tested.

Majority of the recent new cases were detected among tourists from Serbia that experiences a virus outbreak.

Several Balkan countries have recorded an increase of infections in the last week.

Indicative new cases on July 8:

  • Albania 71
  • North Macedonia 130
  • Bulgaria 170
  • Serbia 320 (source)
  • Constant infections increase also Romania

The increase of testing is part of the effort to control – to the maximum extent possible – the transmission and spread of coronavirus in the country.

State broadcaster RT TV reported early afternoon that 154,000 travellers crossed into Greece via Promachonas crossing July 1-8, 2020. 140,000 were tourists from EU countries and 14,000 from third countries.

Other media report that evaluation of sample testing and positive results among travelers will take place over the weekend and measures like intensified controls at the land borders as well as temporary border closure to certain countries may be taken.

According to cnn.gr, government spokesman Stelios Petsas said on Thursday that Greece may temporary halt entry to certain countries if necessary.

“Greece is monitoring the epidemiological data adjusting its strategy,” Petsas said adding that “‘land borders with certain countries would be closed if necessary, as it was the case with Serbia.”

At the same time, he stressed that “the biggest danger is not from abroad, but from inside Greece,” and spoke of “unacceptable phenomena of relaxation,” obviously referring to crowding at fiestas, bars and entertainment facilities.

He said that “it is absolutely necessary to be double careful and follow the recommendations of experts. The virus is here.”

While the government throw the ball of responsibility to citizens, it also further eases restrictions as “a gift” so to say to bars and restaurants, shopping malls, intercity and touristic buses.
PS Go figure…

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